Say goodbye to Locust Street Securities and Washington Square Securities. No, the firms aren’t closing shop, but their names will vanish at year-end, as parent ING joins the two firms together. Characterizing the move as an "integration," the ING Advisors Network said the new entity would be known as ING Financial Partners, Inc., starting Jan. 1. Karl Lindberg, currently president of Locust Street, will be the CEO of the new firm.

"It’s a win for the reps," said Valerie Brown, head of channels and national sales manager at the ING Advisors Network. "This is because of the strong consumer acceptance of ING." It was felt that the identification with the ING name and its distinctive lion logo would help the firms attract clients.

Although previously not a widely known name in the United States, a multi-year ad campaign has changed that. "The ING name has gone from 8% recognition to 50% recognition," Brown said. ING is a global company with Dutch origins.

Along with the consolidation and name change, Brown said, the firm will continue its commitment to helping the planners build their businesses.

The change is part of a "four-firm, three-channel" model said Brown. The first channel is the new ING-branded B-D. The second consists of Financial Network and Multi-Financial Securities, which, according to a draft of an ING release, "are designed to serve financial professionals who are inclined to seek a more distant affiliation with the ING brand." Two other ING B-D’s, IFG Network Securities and VESTAX Securities, are being "consolidated" into Multi-Financial. Primevest, and an institutional division of Financial Network, make up the third channel, aimed chiefly at banks, credit unions and savings and loans.

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